Skin in the game: Oil Pulling Day 3 – Say No To Topical Steroids
Say No To Topical Steroids
Oil pulling, in CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine), is a procedure that involves swishing oil in the mouth for oral and systemic health benefits. It is mentioned in the Ayurvedic text Charaka Samhita where it is called Kavala or Gandusha, and is claimed to cure about 30 systemic diseases ranging from headache, migraine to diabetes and asthma. Oil pulling has been used extensively as a traditional Indian folk remedy for many years to prevent decay, oral malodor, bleeding gums, dryness of throat, cracked lips and for strengthening teeth, gums and the jaw.
Oil pulling therapy can be done using oils like sunflower oil or sesame oil. The sesame plant (Sesamum indicum) of the Pedaliaceae family has been considered a gift of nature to mankind for its nutritional qualities and desirable health effects. Sesame oil is considered to be the queen of oil seed crops because of its beneficiary effects.
Brushing is contra indicated in the cases of mouth ulcer, fever, indigestion, those who have tendency to vomit, asthma, cough, thirst. Oil pulling can be used to clean the oral cavity in all these cases. Gandusha and Kavala Graha are two primary oral cleansing techniques; specialized therapy to treat as well as to prevent oral diseases. Gandusha involves filling the mouth completely with fluid so that gargling is impossible. In Gandush, the oral cavity is filled completely with liquid medicine, held for about 3-5 minutes, and then released. In Kavala Graha, a comfortable amount of fluid is retained with the mouth closed for about 3 minutes, and then gargled. It is a simple rejuvenating treatment, which, when done routinely, enhances the senses, maintains clarity, brings about a feeling of freshness, and invigorates the mind. These oral cleansing techniques can also benefit bad breath, dry face, dull senses, exhaustion, anorexia, loss of taste, impaired vision, sore throat, and all kapha related imbalances.
A study was conducted by Asokan S et al (2009) to evaluate the effect of oil pulling with sesame oil on plaque-induced gingivitis, and to compare its efficacy with chlorhexidine mouthwash. A total of 20 age-matched adolescent boys with plaque-induced gingivitis were selected for this study. They were divided randomly into the study or oil pulling group (Group I) and the control or chlorhexidine group (Group II) with 10 subjects in each group. Plaque index and modified gingival index scores were recorded for the 20 subjects and baseline plaque samples were also collected. There was a statistically significant reduction of the pre- and post-values of the plaque and modified gingival index scores in both the study and control groups (p < 0.001 in both). The oil pulling therapy showed a reduction in the plaque index, modified gingival scores, and total colony count of aerobic microorganisms in the plaque of adolescents with plaque-induced gingivitis.
Oil pulling is a powerful detoxifying Ayurvedic technique that has recently become very popular as a CAM remedy for many different health ailments. Using this method, surgery or medication could be prevented for a number of chronic illnesses. The oil therapy is preventative as well as curative. The exciting aspect of this healing method is its simplicity. Ayurveda advises oil gargling to purify the entire system; as it holds that each section of the tongue is connected to different organ such as to the kidneys, lungs, liver, heart, small intestines, stomach, colon, and spine, similarly to reflexology and TCM.